Do you ever feel that certain friends make you feel awesome while some others, well, not so much? If yes, welcome to the world of influence.
We all strive for success at different levels of intensity. And we will certainly take advantage of something that produces big results without asking a lot of time or energy. Your good friends will make this happen for you.
Let’s go back to the types of friends you have in your life. You most probably have some friends that just help you see life in a better way, give you that extra push to take a hard decision or get through a stressful situation more gracefully. Then, you have that friend that takes all your energy through a five minute chat on the phone. They will leave you feeling depressed and unmotivated. There is a key lesson to learn here: your friends and social groups play a major part in your life. I think this is worth repeating again in bold: Your friends and social groups play a major part in your life.
I’m sure you can recall your parents telling you that they didn’t want you to hang out with a certain group of friends. If you think about it, there must be a valuable reason for two adults to take the time to express that they wanted you to hang out with good people, no?
Here are two of my favorite quotes that reinforce this point:
“Show me your friends and I will show you your future.” – Spanish proverb
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
This concept is relatively easy to wrap our minds around; If I choose my friends right, I will live a better, happier and more positive life. But how do I change my circle of friends? How do I know who to stop talking to? Let me introduce you to three steps that will help you build a powerful and inspiring circle of friends:
STEP 1: EVALUATE
Answering the following questions will help you spot the energy wasters in your life, and allow the cream to come on top. I suggest you write them down with their answers and keep it somewhere accessible like on your desk at work or on your refrigerator so you can revisit them when needed (which will be often).
– Who are the 20% of the people who produce 80% of your enjoyment and propel you forward?
– Which 20% cause 80% of your depression, anger, and second guessing?
– Who is helping versus hurting you?
– Who is causing me stress disproportionate to the time I spend with them?
STEP 2: DECIDE & DEFINE
You should now have two lists. One containing the friends that influence you the way you want to and the other containing the friends that poison your life. This will give you the insight you need to decide who stays and who leaves.
After you’ve decided to cut back (partially or definitely) on certain people, you want to define what kind of people you want more of in your life and build your new friendships accordingly. Look at the people that stayed and duplicate these friendships. You want to eliminate your poisonous relationships and multiply the good ones.
STEP 3: ACT
Just as you would have to fire an employee if he/she is underperforming, you will need to fire the friends that have low expectations for themselves and who are pessimistic. It is emotionally difficult to do so but do not underestimate the potential you are sleeping on: you really are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
Be congruent in the way you act with them. If you decide to spend less time with someone because he/she is affecting you in a way that is detrimental to you, don’t allow yourself to fall back in their spiral of negativity. This is what made you leave in the first place and chances are they will pull you right back in if you give them the opportunity. This will make things a billion times more difficult and complicated to cut back a second time. If they promise to change, evaluate from a distance. Give them three or four weeks and then recontact them so you can judge what changes they really made.
It is pointless to go about life surrounded by people who slow down your progress and your ambitions. It is your responsibility to put yourself in the proper environment for growth. Nobody will do it for you nor will they necessarily understand why you do certain things. Remember that you are not being mean or selfish. You are being practical.
Let go of what you don’t want, focus on what you want and live a happier life.
Do this my friend.
Elie Gauthier – Health and Lifestyle Coach
Source: Tim Ferriss – 4 Hour Work Week